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In Briefings in bioinformatics

Gene regulatory network (GRN) is the important mechanism of maintaining life process, controlling biochemical reaction and regulating compound level, which plays an important role in various organisms and systems. Reconstructing GRN can help us to understand the molecular mechanism of organisms and to reveal the essential rules of a large number of biological processes and reactions in organisms. Various outstanding network reconstruction algorithms use specific assumptions that affect prediction accuracy, in order to deal with the uncertainty of processing. In order to study why a certain method is more suitable for specific research problem or experimental data, we conduct research from model-based, information-based and machine learning-based method classifications. There are obviously different types of computational tools that can be generated to distinguish GRNs. Furthermore, we discuss several classical, representative and latest methods in each category to analyze core ideas, general steps, characteristics, etc. We compare the performance of state-of-the-art GRN reconstruction technologies on simulated networks and real networks under different scaling conditions. Through standardized performance metrics and common benchmarks, we quantitatively evaluate the stability of various methods and the sensitivity of the same algorithm applying to different scaling networks. The aim of this study is to explore the most appropriate method for a specific GRN, which helps biologists and medical scientists in discovering potential drug targets and identifying cancer biomarkers.

Zhao Mengyuan, He Wenying, Tang Jijun, Zou Quan, Guo Fei


gene expression data, gene regulatory network, machine learning, network inference methods